Artesian CEO on Sales Intelligence and being “Customer Curious”

The Artesian Solution Watchlist tags stories by trigger topics and allows users to filter by both triggers and topic cloud keywords.
The Artesian Solution Watchlist tags stories by trigger topics and allows users to filter by both triggers and topic cloud keywords.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates and discuss topics including how they fit into the sales intelligence space and being “customer curious.”  Artesian provides a social selling solution for the UK, US, and Canada.  Their sales intelligence is delivered via a web browser, Salesforce.com, and their Ready mobile app.

This is the third interview excerpt.  Earlier this week, I posted blogs concerning Artesian’s 2016 US market entry and how artificial intelligence fits in the Artesian roadmap.


Michael: How do you view yourself versus firms in the sales intelligence space?

Andrew: I had a chat with [CEO] Henry [Schuck] from DiscoverOrg just recently. It took us a while to realize that we didn’t really compete with DiscoverOrg. We might compete for share of wallet.  Certainly, some of the words on the website are saying [similar things]. Fundamentally, we’re two different types of organizations.

I think there are companies that make data, curate data, sell access to curated data. I would include in addition to DiscoverOrg, RainKing and InsideView.

I talked to Henry. I said, “Somebody would buy your service because they would want to get the inside track on when the projects are coming up, on particular types of initiatives. Who’s who in the zoo? What’s their phone number and email address?” The stimulus would be, “I’m contacting you to talk to you about this project on which I can help you.” [That’s] The bit where we take over guiding the conversations which follow over the remainder of the sales cycle, we can do that.

We use natural language processing, machine-based learning and AI to take data from people who already aggregate it. Then we take it through our own process because there isn’t anything out there that has anything like the superior capabilities we’ve got around topic classification, tagging, and all the things that go with our value proposition. As I said to Henry, “We’re never really going to compete directly because we’ve got no intention of hiring a bunch of people to build various specific data.”

I think he’s on fire at the moment…In the States, there’s a real shortage of quality contact insight. Where we take over is where DiscoverOrg leaves off. At the point where you’ve identified an opportunity in a customer and then you want to build that relationship and keep that relationship going over time not just maybe sell them one product or service but sell them multiple products or services and keep going back. That’s the area we’re really, really good at.

Michael: Okay. Right, so basically being aware of what’s going on in that organization and maintaining the relationship.

Andrew: Yes. That’s why we look for organizations, customers that we sell to who have a relationship management model at their heart. This “customer curious” concept came from one of our customers, NetApp. The chap that was running Europe came up with the phrase. He drew me this picture and said, “There’s three ways we can differentiate ourselves in the market. We can differentiate ourselves with products,” he said. “And NetApp’s got the same product that three or four other companies have got. We can do it with price, but that’s a race to the bottom or we can do it with service. We want to do it with service, and we want to be the best. The best company in this space. We can have a product that is good or better than anyone else’s, but we’ll differentiate ourselves by being customer curious.”

There’s nothing like getting inspiration for where your headed from a customer.

Michael: This topic is near and dear to Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff: being customer obsessed.

Andrew: Yes. Being customer obsessed is where we try to complement Mark Benioff’s vision.  The Salesforce platform is an excellent system of record, and I think people buy CRM expecting it to help them sell, and it does. It helps them sell by getting more organized and orchestrated with the customer at the center, but it’s not a system of engagement. That’s really where we feel we come in as a complement and supplement to that system of record.


The interview will wrap up on Monday with a discussion of how Artesian maintains a very high engagement rate amongst its users.

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